Eastern Wayne High JROTC Unit Awarded Highest U.S. Air Force Honor
This is the image for the news article titled Eastern Wayne High JROTC Unit Awarded Highest U.S. Air Force HonorThe Eastern Wayne High (EWH) Air Force JROTC Unit (NC-804) was recently selected as one of 126 units nationwide to receive the 2017-2018 Air Force JROTC Distinguished Unit with Merit Award, the highest United States Air Force honor that can be awarded to a JROTC unit. The Air Force JROTC Headquarters states that the award recognizes units that have performed well above and beyond normal expectations, and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force JROTC citizen development mission for America.

The EWH Air Force JROTC unit had 85 cadets in grades 9-12 this year, and is currently led by C/Col Ja'Shawn Faire and C/Lt Col Amber Michalek. Lt Col Jesse Smith and MSgt Lucius Turner are the Air Force JROTC Instructors.

“Our unit is honored to be recognized with this award,” states Lt Col Smith. “To gain this recognition, cadets and instructors focus on community service, cadet development and adherence to standards. It was indeed a team effort and I am extremely proud of our cadets.”

In a congratulatory letter to WCPS superintendent, Dr. Michael Dunsmore, and to the Air Force JROTC instructors, Colonel Paul Lips, Director, HQ Air Force JROTC stated, “The Distinguished Unit with Merit Award recognized the personal accomplishments of the cadets, the contributions of the instructors as mentors of the cadets, and the support of the school and community. The Distinguished Unit with Merit Award is limited to the very best of the best of our nation’s 900 Air Force JROTC units.”

District administrators congratulate the instructors and the cadets for their efforts and program success.

“This year, the Eastern Wayne High JROTC unit purposed to reshape and redefine its program,” states Dr. Michael Dunsmore, WCPS Superintendent. “It is rewarding to see their hard work pay off through this outstanding achievement.”

The Air Force JROTC program states that its primary objectives are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline through character education, and to provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.

“It is important to note that JROTC programs are not recruiting tools,” adds Lt Col Smith. "Cadets are under no obligation to enter the military. Instead, the mission of Air Force JROTC is to develop citizens of character, dedicated to serving their nation and community. This academic year, our cadets accomplished 2,100 hours of community service in support of their school and local community.”

The EWH JROTC Program is no stranger to success. In addition the Distinguished Unit with Merit Award, the EWH JROTC unit underwent a headquarters unit evaluation this spring and earned an overall unit assessment score of “Exceeds Standards,” the highest rating attainable. Looking deeper, the program received "Exceeds Standard" in all six graded areas, with zero discrepancies. According to the inspector, this feat placed the program among the top 2% of Air Force JROTC programs this year.

“Across the globe, JROTC units are doing incredible things in their respective communities,” adds Lt. Col Smith. “Our program is ultimately as great as the cadets make it through their actions, commitment, and dedication. Hopefully this is the beginning of something even greater in the years ahead.”
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